One Mississippi, Two

“I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.” – Joshua Graham

Spring: 56 days.

Up until this week we’d been dwelling deep in the negatives – filling and defrosting water buckets, fluffing hay beds for the goats, and cursing the freezing fog under our frozen breath. I’ve decided the word for this winter is frozen.

During the deep freeze these things happened: Chris strung 4 lines of electric wire around our property and built a goat house. The goats charged through the fence and don’t use their goat house. One of our Rhode Island Red chickens (Peckerina – aptly named) became cannibalistic and starting pecking the other RIR, Beatrice. We’re talking blood. I Googled “what do I do with my cannibalistic chicken” and realized a whole new use for the superhero that is Vicks Vapor Rub. Beatrice is on vacation in our garage until her feathers grow back. Steve, the cat, has been banished from his bed because Beatrice now sits there. Chris cracked our heated horse water trough by trying to chop through the thick ice with an axe. Yes, the heated waterer had ice. He also bought me roses when I had a bad day. And got the truck stuck in the snow trying to restock our hay. He also, with great encouragement, took a spontaneous trip to Oregon to snowboard with friends. I think I may be due for my own short vacation someday soon.

Just a few days ago, when the sun shone bright on the glittering snow and the air was mild (30 degrees fahrenheit), I realized it was happening. January thaw was happening. In just three days time, the temperature raised 50 degrees. As a newish Montanan, I now know the reason why folks are in shorts on sunny winter days. I almost (almost) thought about it.

Needless to say January has been a blood, sweat, and tears type of beast. But a beautiful one at that. My mom and I even saw a robin –  a robin! But I’m afraid he, too, might be in for a long wait. Here’s to marching into February and closer to spring. We could all use a little more sunshine.


Spring? Are you there?


From home, looking northwest towards Missoula.


Mustang Lucy, the baby.


My sweet Raven, the Queen of our place. 


Fiona (left) and Peckerina, the pecking machine. 


Sweetest dog alive, Timber. Rescued in 2015 from life as a stray.


Murphy, 11 yrs old, complete troublemaker. 


Shadoe & Willoughby coming in hot!


Steve, in his favorite daytime snuggle positon.


8 thoughts on “One Mississippi, Two

  1. Helen says:

    Love reading your blogs Chelsea.

    I didn’t realize all those things happened in January but by the looks of the beautiful pictures, looks like you all survived and thrived.

    Hang in there…. Spring is on it’s way

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa Gordon says:

    Your animals are just beautiful, Chelsea!
    Those eyes on Timber melt my heart.
    Sounds like a rough few weeks for you there.
    Here in NY, our snow is gone now, but that will all change tonight and tomorrow, as we are expecting a major winter storm.
    I’m counting down those 56 days! 🙂


    • Chelsea Lyn Drake says:

      Thank you, Lisa! Timber had us at first look, literally. In a kennel of barking, seemingly happy dogs, there she was – quiet and waiting and soulfully looking into our eyes. She rescued our hearts big time before we rescued her. I’m sending some MT love your way, back to my home state of New York! Think “spring”.


  3. Ann says:

    Your such an entertaining writer Chelsea. Love the blog. My sister-in-law has chickens and one like Peckerina. What do you do with the Vicks?


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